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Scarpa Mescalito Planet Review

Excellent for rugged approaches, technical climbing, and aiding, these are perfect for folks with wider feet, but they come at a premium price
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Scarpa Mescalito Planet Review (The Scarpa Mescalito Planet is rugged and comfortable, especially for folks with wider feet.)
The Scarpa Mescalito Planet is rugged and comfortable, especially for folks with wider feet.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi
Price:  $219 List
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Manufacturer:   Scarpa
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 19, 2023
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Climbing Ability - 30% 9.0
  • Hiking Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 4.0
  • Support - 15% 10.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Scarpa Mescalito Planet emerged from our testing as our favorite approach shoe for wider feet. These shoes seriously impressed us with their excellent climbing ability, hiking comfort, durability, and overall support. A precise toe and stiff construction combine for a technical climbing prowess on par with low-performance climbing shoes. The sole is comfortably cushioned, and the laces help refine the fit. These shoes are an excellent choice for long approaches through rugged terrain, and the arch is supportive enough for long days spent standing in aiders or carrying heavy loads. Although these shoes are costly, we didn't detect any construction quality issues during our testing period, and we firmly believe that they are worth every penny. If you have narrow feet, the La Sportiva TX Guide is a better choice. But for folks with average-width or wider feet, the Mescalito Planet is our top pick among the best approach shoes on the market.
REASONS TO BUY
Great for climbing and hiking
Supportive
Durable
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Heavy
Thick soles lack feel
Editor's Note: We added the Scarpa Mescalito Planet to our lineup on December 19, 2023.

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Bottom Line Perfect for users with wider-than-average feet, these shoes can do it all, from 5th-class climbing to long approaches to aid climbing. They aren't cheap, but they are built to lastThe TX Guide is a great option for those with narrow feet, offering hiking support and excellent climbing precisionSpecializing in heavy loads and big wall climbing, this model is also a well-rounded favoriteOur favorite shoes for carrying over a route while multipitch climbingA solid choice for an all-around approach shoe that costs less than the competition, while outperforming much of it
Rating Categories Scarpa Mescalito Pl... La Sportiva TX Guide La Sportiva TX4 La Sportiva TX2 Evo Scarpa Crux
Climbing Ability (30%)
9.0
10.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
Hiking Comfort (25%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Weight and Packability (20%)
4.0
7.0
5.0
9.0
6.0
Support (15%)
10.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
7.0
Construction Quality (10%)
8.0
4.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Specs Scarpa Mescalito Pl... La Sportiva TX Guide La Sportiva TX4 La Sportiva TX2 Evo Scarpa Crux
Outsole Vibram Megagrip LiteBase Vibram Megagrip Vibram Megagrip with Trail Bite heel Vibram Idrogrip Vibram Megagrip
Upper Material Recycled Pespair Polyester synthetic TPU, PU Leather Recycled knit, PU toe & heel Leather
Weight (per pair) 33 oz (size 13) 29.8 oz (size 13) 26.2 oz (size 9.5) 26.4 oz (size 13) 27.2 oz (size 9.5)
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Mid Height Available? No No Yes No No
Midsole EVA Dual-density compressed EVA, TPU Torsion Shank Traverse injection MEMlex Traverse lite injection MEMlex with co-molded TPU shank EVA

Our Analysis and Test Results

A Note on Product Availability - December 2023


Currently, the regular Mescalito (pictured right), is more available than the model we tested, the Mescalito Planet (left). The Mescalito is marginally heavier and contains less recycled material, but includes Scarpa's new “Super Gum” rubber, which claims to improve abrasion and slip resistance. This technology accounts for the difference in price; otherwise, the two shoes are identical. Considering the performance of the Mescalito Planet, these differences are negligible. Until the Mescalito Planet becomes more readily available, we are linking to the Mescalito.

The Scarpa Mescalito Planet excels on technical approaches and low 5th-class terrain, and features excellent construction quality for added reliability in remote terrain. Despite our praise for their performance, the wider-than-usual last for approach shoes means that the Mescalito Planet is best for users with average or wider-than-average feet.

Performance Comparison


scarpa mescalito planet - scrambling in the scarpa mescalito planet. these stable shoes gave...
Scrambling in the Scarpa Mescalito Planet. These stable shoes gave us the confidence to tackle low 5th-class terrain with ease.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Climbing Ability


The Mescalito Planet is a reliable companion in technical terrain. The shoe's stiff toe allows edging on small holds with high confidence, and the rubber is sticky enough for smearing on slabs. The rubber rand around the toe box allows for good purchase when jamming into cracks.


The rubber on these shoes isn't as sticky as other rubber we've tested. As a result, slab climbing is the arena where we are less confident in these shoes than others. That said, these climb granite cracks like a dream and do well on low 5th-class face climbs. If you want a shoe that can crush the long approach and style the easy approach pitches, then the Mescalito Planet is perfect for you.

scarpa mescalito planet - edging, smearing, and foot jamming were all easy to perform in the...
Edging, smearing, and foot jamming were all easy to perform in the Scarpa Mescalito Planet.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Hiking Comfort


These shoes are built for long days on the trail. Their stiff construction provides good support for long days walking across rugged terrain while carrying a climbing pack or heavier loads. The cushioned sole absorbs small rocks and other trail inconsistencies, and the tall ankle cuff provides solid ankle support for off-trail travel. The lacing pattern is tight enough to provide a customized fit, and the aggressive tread pattern effectively bites into mud, dirt, loose gravel, and roots.


Stiff shoes are great for uneven terrain, but this stiffness can also lead to sore feet after a long day. We noticed this a bit with the stiff Mescalito Planet, which is particularly noticeable when you start to feel the weight of this heavy shoe after a long day hike. Still, these shoes are more comfortable for long hikes and cross-country approaches than most other options on the market.

scarpa mescalito planet - the mescalito planet has plenty of ankle support and sole cushioning...
The Mescalito Planet has plenty of ankle support and sole cushioning for long, rugged hikes.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Weight and Packability


The Mescalito Planet is heavy, weighing more than most other approach shoes. This weight comes from the stiff construction, thick sole, and burly polyester upper. These shoes are best for days when they'll be on your feet rather than in your pack. Their weight is particularly noticeable when carried in a small pack on multi-pitch climbs, and their weight and bulk don't make them the best choice for carrying up a route attached to a harness.


In general, we notice a direct correlation between weight and hiking comfort. The more a shoe weighs, the more comfortable it is for hiking since comfortable features like cushioned soles and a stiff shank reasonably add weight to a shoe. If you anticipate using these shoes for rugged approaches and cross-country use, these are a great choice. But there are lighter options out there for shorter approaches to multi-pitch climbs.

scarpa mescalito planet - due to its stiff upper material, the mescalito planet doesn't pack...
Due to its stiff upper material, the Mescalito Planet doesn't pack small.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Support


With a stiff build and plenty of cushioning in the sole, the Scarpa Mescalito Planet provides excellent support. When standing in aiders, it's hard to notice the sling under the arch of the foot. The lace pattern allows a secure fit along the length of the foot, and the cushioned polyester upper adds some stiffness.


The ankle cuff provides more support than most other shoes on the market, thanks to a rubber rand extension through the back of the heel and reinforcements in the polyester upper around the sides of the heel. The Mescalito Planet offers a lot more ankle support than other approach shoes, making them a good choice for climbers who carry heavier loads through rough terrain. While the ankle protection is robust, the toe protection is also impressive, thanks to a stiff rubber rand around the toe box.

scarpa mescalito planet - the scarpa mescalito planet is relatively comfortable for standing...
The Scarpa Mescalito planet is relatively comfortable for standing in aiders, thanks to a stiff last.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Construction Quality


We're seriously impressed by the construction quality of the Mescalito Planet. The sole features Vibram's newer LiteBase design, which minimizes sole thickness above the lugs. The result is a lighter shoe without any durability compromises. The rubber in the toe and heel is thick, so you'll enjoy many days of climbing and hiking before wearing these shoes anywhere close to the sole.


The polyester upper is thick and durable, and a rubber rand extends around the entire forefoot, protecting the lower part of the upper from premature wear and tear. The same rubber rand protects the back of the foot. All the lace holes are reinforced with metal eyelets, and the rear pull-tab is stitched tightly to the back of the shoe. The only weakness in this shoe's armor is the exposed yellow foam above the sole. We noticed a small amount of wear in this area during our testing, and we are confident that this will be the first area of the shoe to deteriorate if the shoe is used in rugged terrain like talus.

scarpa mescalito planet - the scarpa mescalito planet has metal eyelets throughout the entire...
The Scarpa Mescalito Planet has metal eyelets throughout the entire lacing pattern, a rubber rand around the forefoot, and durable shell material to protect the upper fabric.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Should You Buy the Scarpa Mescalito Planet?


If you have wide or high-volume feet and need a shoe that excels on long approaches, cross-country hikes, big walls, and low 5th-class climbs, the Mescalito Planet is an excellent choice. However, if you have narrow feet, these shoes will likely be too wide, and their climbing ability will be lost as your foot slides around the inside. Because of their weight, they are also not the best shoe for carrying up multi-pitch climbs. That said, for their ability to climb well, hike comfortably, and provide ample support for heavy days, these shoes are excellent all-around performers. They cost a lot, but they are worth the investment – again, if you have the right foot for the fit.

scarpa mescalito planet - the scarpa mescalito planet is a great choice for guides...
The Scarpa Mescalito Planet is a great choice for guides, instructors, and others who spend all day outside, thanks to their comfort and climbing ability.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

What Other Approach Shoes Should You Consider?


If you have narrow or low-volume feet, we recommend the La Sportiva TX Guide over the wider Mescalito Planet, offering similar performance across the board. The durable La Sportiva TX4 is more affordable and is a great shoe for rugged terrain and big wall climbs, but the tradeoff is some climbing performance. If you want a lighter-weight option for carrying up multi-pitch climbs, the La Sportiva TX2 Evo is much more packable. And if you are shopping on a particularly tight budget, the Scarpa Crux is a great all-around approach shoe, but it can't quite compare with the technical prowess of these other high-performance options.

Jeff Dobronyi